They Got the Boat Out and the Rat Took the Sculls

An original drawing from The Wind in the Willows.

[GRAHAME, Kenneth] / SHEPARD, Ernest Howard

SHEPARD, Ernest Howard They Got the Boat Out and the Rat Took the Sculls An original drawing from The Wind in the Willows.


250 x 170mm. Original pen and ink drawing on artist's board for a full page illustration for Wind in the Willows, depicting the Rat and the Mole on the river. Signed EHS within the drawing at the bottom, with pencil captions by the artist "to face p.161" and "Redrawn 11 Jan/56" to the bottom corners. The reverse of the board with Shepard's ownership inscription, "Return to E.H.Shepard Woodmancote Lodsworth Sussex". Fine condition.

A fine, large drawing depicting one of the iconic scenes from the book, of Rat and Mole on the river as dusk.
Following the success of Arthur Rackham's colour illustrations to Wind in the Willows, which first appeared in Britain in 1950 and the ongoing demand for reprints of Shepard's edition, Methuen decided to update the Shepard edition of 1931. The principal difference was the addition of eight full-page colour plates, but the publisher's also took the opportunity to ask Shepard to inprove some of the illustrations which had been less successful in the original edition. In this particular instance the overall scenery remains almost identical, but the main subject, the Rat and Mole in the boat, is enlarged. In the original, the animals are very small and indistinct. In the new image, their features and clothes are quiet recognisable and one can see the detail of the skiff, capturing a sense of substance and movement absent from the original.
The book contains only five full page illustrations of which this is arguably the most charming.

LITERATURE: Grahame, Kenneth The Wind in the Willows (Methuen, 1959) p161.

Stock ID: 40197


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